With antioxidant rich blueberries, mineral rich spinach, blood sugar balancing cinnamon and hormone balancing coconut oil, this smoothie is the perfect tonic for busting those sweet cravings whilst balancing blood sugar.

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Image supplied by AnneCN

 

Ingredients serve 1

1/2 organic avocado

1/2 punnet organic blueberries

Handful organic spinach

2 tsp organic coconut oil

1-2 tbsp Great Lakes Hydro Gelatin (available from http://www.purebodybalanceshop.co.uk ) OR organic nut butter

1/4 tsp organic cinnamon

1/2 glass organic coconut water or coconut milk

  1. Pop all of your ingredients into a blender and wiz until smooth, enjoy immediately.
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Last month we touched on the importance of breath for reducing stress in the physical body. This month we share with you a simple breathing technique for reducing stress in the mind. This Pranayama technique comes from the Yogis and is a fabulous way to quieten the mind before meditation, relaxation or sleep.

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Image supplied by Sebastien Wiertz

 

 

The Practice:

1. Sitting comfortably in a quiet space. Either in a seated Yoga posture or upright in a chair with the spine supported and the palms of the hands resting lightly on the tops of the thighs and the legs uncrossed.

2. Close the eyes and take your attention inwards. Take a few normal breaths here.

3. Take 4 even breaths in through the nose, until the lungs are completely full. You should feel the belly gently expanding like a balloon. The belly button pushing out. try to keep the 4 sections of the in breath even in their length.

4. When you have taken the forth part of your inhalation, hold at the top for a count of three.

5. Now exhale through the nose until the lungs are completely empty, Feel the belly drawing back in, with the belly button reseeding towards the spine.

6. Repeat for as long as needed/desired.

You really don’t need any added sugar to enjoy a decadent, mouth watering treat. I have created this delicious yet insanely easy RAW choc truffle recipe. Enjoy!

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Image supplied by Lee McCoy

 

Ingredients make aprox 20 truffles

4T organic raw cacao

2T organic cacao butter, melted

2 handfuls of fresh grated coconut or dessicated coconut

12-20 organic soft dates (depending how thick you want your mixture to be)

1T organic orange essence

zest of 1 organic orange

pinch of Sea salt

1t organic vanilla essence

To Make:

1. Place all of your ingredients apart from the coconut and orange zest in a food processor and blitz until smooth.

2. Heat a frying pan on a medium/high heat. Do not add any oil. Pop the coconut in and stir continuously until the coconut turns a pale golden colour. Remove from the heat and decant from the pan.

3. Stir 1 handful of the coconut and all of the orange zest into the mixture.

4. Roll the mixture into small bite size balls. Roll each ball in the remaining coconut or additional cacao powder.

For more healing, delicious recipes visit End IBS Naturally or Meals That Heal

Working with clients suffering from sugar cravings, energy slumps, carbohydrate addiction, weight gain, poor sleep quality, unhealthy looking skin and digestive disturbances we see only too often how an over consumption and addiction to the sweet stuff links to escalating health symptoms and increasing states of disease.

15061081508_c0a4154bcd_mMost people are so confused about what sugars are healthy, which are okay in moderation and which should be totally avoided. Most people have literally no idea where added sugar is hidden and therefore how much they are consuming day to day.

You may be someone who struggles to make it through the day without the sugary cereal or jam loaded toasted, the mid morning biscuits dunked into your cuppa and that afternoon chocolate bar or piece of cake to see through until tea time.

 

 

Image supplied by Moyan Brenn

Parents worry over the quantity of sweets their children consume without the knowledge that most shop brought breads contain added sugar above and beyond that needed for baking purposes.
We buy are diet coke and sugar free desserts with no idea of the consequences the synthetic sugar replacements contained within are causing to our bodymind.

In nature fruit and vegetables provide valuable energy to the body in the form of glucose (sugar). They come with health promoting vitamins, minerals and enzymes which allow the glucose to be used appropriately. They naturally contain their own fibre, fats and proteins, which help the body to regulate the level of glucose in the blood so that sustained and consistent energy is achieved for both body and mind. Carbohydrates such as fruit and vegetables are essential for the growth and development of the human body and provide a natural sweetness to our diet. Their sweetness indicates their natural state of ripeness and peak nutrient density.

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Image supplied by Brian Snelson

 

 

 

Natural Health Promoting Sweeteners include:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Fresh fruit puree such as apple
  • Fresh vegetables such as sweet potato, carrot and parsnip
  • Organic dried fruit such as dates
  • Date syrup
  • Black strap molasses
  • Maple syrup
  • Coconut Palm Nectar /Sugar
  • Raw organic honey
  • Yacon root syrup

These sugars provide nutrients and macro nutrients along with natural sugars.

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In stark contrast, refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar are stripped of their nutritional status. Grains in general break down into simple sugars in the body and are hard to digest creating inflammation. If you are eating a high refined carbohydrate and/or grain diet such as cereal, bread and pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner you will certainly be depleted in many vitamins and minerals and in turn will have impaired organ and gland function. These types of carbohydrates take more energy out of the body to digest and assimilate than they actually provide, and are known as empty calories. Eating these foods creates a huge burst of glucose into the blood stream which by the laws of science can only fall again. This is the time when most people reach for the cake or coffee to rev them back up again. These peaks and troughs cause an enormous amount of strain on the hormonal system, pancreas, liver, adrenals and thyroid gland and can lead to obesity, chronic fatigue, depression, exhaustion and behavioral problems such as ADHD.

8455823069_104727fe93_mRefined sugar such as white or even brown table sugar, originates from sugar beet or sugar cane. Once refined and processed the sugar is stripped of its naturally high amounts of B vitamins, magnesium and chromium. The body no longer reaches nutritional satiety when eating the sugar and so simply craves more and more sugar in a bid to sustain its nutritional needs. This type of sugar and in fact grain consumption can be linked to the increasing epidemic of Type ll Diabetes and obesity. Obesity and excess stored fat arises due to the liver’s limited capacity to store glucose as glycogen. A daily diet rich in simple sugar will soon fill up the liver’s stores and is then shuttled out to the body’s cells via the blood stream, to be stored as fatty acids in the buttocks, breasts, belly and hips.

 

Image supplied by U.S. Department of Agriculture

‘Natural’ Sugars to Avoid:

  • Agave syrup
  • Brown sugar / cane sugar
  • Stevia
  • Erythritol
  • Xylitol
  • Tate and Lyle Light at Heart

These so called natural sugar provide empty calories with little to no added health benefits.

Top Tips for Curbing Your Sugar Consumption
1. Read the label of any packaged foods you buy. Avoid those that contain synthetic sweeteners and any added sugar (words ending in ose)
2. Throw out all sugars that you add to foods and drinks that are not in the Natural sugar list
3. Swap sweets, baked goods and chocolates for fresh fruits
4. Begin to reduce and cut out all added sugar in drinks, swapping soda drinks for sparkling water with freshly squeezed citrus i.e. lemon and sports drinks for homemade smoothies
5. Ensure you are have some form of saturated fat and good quality protein with each meal, this will help stabilise your blood sugar reducing the onset of a sugar craving attack

Most of us are aware that Coffee is hugely addictive, we can feel its stimulating effects in the way that it fires us up with hyped up energy (hence why it is often added to synthetic sports and energy drinks) and promotes a swift and often quite dramatic bowel evacuation (by irritating the gut lining of the bowel). If you are Coffee sensitive you will recognise that jittery feeling, you may notice that your speech speeds up and your thoughts become accelerated perhaps even racy, it is not then hard to see why many students reach for the coffee when cramming for deadlines and exams!

Whilst these effects might not seem a problem at first glance the damage is really been done with long term and regular consumption. Caffeine drives the Sympathetic Nervous System otherwise known as the SNS. This branch of our nervous system is responsible for the Fight/Flight responses, for the activation of our stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol released from the adrenal glands. When the adrenal glands become over stimulated due to stimulants and other external and internal stressors we start to see the first signs of Adrenal Fatigue. Chronic tiredness, poor sleep quality, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, chronic sugar and bread cravings are some of the initial symptoms. When End Stage adrenal fatigue kicks in we begin to witness chronic hormone imbalance, PMS, loss of the menstrual cycle, anxiety, depression and more.

So if you love your cup of coffee and can’t bear the thought of giving it up what can you do to save guard your health?

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Image supplied by Susanne Nilsson

Our Coffee tips:
1 – Always opt of organic coffee beans; these are at least chemical free.
2 – Buy the beans and grind them fresh each time you want a coffee, purchase a slow grinding coffee machine such as the one pictured here. This will preserve the quality of the beans and tastes much nicer too.
3 – Always store your coffee beans in an air tight stainless steel container, in the cupboard nt the fridge. Coffee is very susceptible to fungal spores. Storing it in this way will minimise the risk to your health.
4 – Add cream, butter or coconut oil to your cup of coffee. this will slow down the rate at which the caffeine hits your blood stream relieving some of the effects on your adrenal glands and nervous system.
5 – Always drink your coffee after a meal; again this will help with the potential blood sugar crash and adrenal stress response.
6 – Avoid drinking your coffee after midday. Coffee stays in the body for many hours after consumption so can easily effect your rest and repair cycles and sleep quality which kick in after 3pm.
7 – Enjoy your coffee as soon as it has been poured, do not let it sit. Any of the beneficial nutrients found in organic coffee will be neutralised within 10 minutes.
8 – If you are looking to cut down on your coffee consumption do so gradually to avoid coffee withdrawals such as headaches, brain fog and mood swings. Chewing on a few organic coffee beans is a great alternative. start with 3 and increase by 3 until you feel no negative symptoms, then begin reducing by 3 until you no longer need any!

 

Supine Breathing Teacher aka Diaphragmatic Breathing

This exercise will encourage you to return to the natural form of breathing. During times of stress we automatically revert to chest breathing and can easily become locked into this pattern. This style of breathing drives the SNS (Sympathetic Nervous System) responsible for our stress response. Things such as caffeine, sugar, a frenetic lifestyle and stressful job will all push us further into the chest breathing and stress responses which can eventually lead to adrenal fatigue. Diaphragmatic Breathing is hugely relaxing and helps to switch the body back into its PNS (Parasympathetic Nervous System) pathway which is one of rest/repair/digest.

Breathing Teacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 – Lie on your back with your knees bent.

2 – Place 2 light weight, church candles or tin cans, once over the belly button and one on the chest, support with your hands.

3 – Inhale through the nose, into the stomach allowing the weight over your belly button to rise, then slowly breath into the chest allowing the weight here to rise.

4 – Gently pull the belly button in towards the spine as you exhale through the lips.

5 – Over time slowly allow your legs to straighten out, eventually you will be able to to this on your side, all fours, kneeling and eventually standing.

So you are spending money on free range / organic food. You filter your water and you avoid processed junk food. But did you know that your cookware could be leaching poisonous and toxic residues into your beautifully cooked healthy meals? Non stick Teflon coating which is literally used in every type of cooking vessel and utensil leaches residues into your food when cooking at high temperatures i.e. when frying and sautéing, and most of us like to cook quick and fast NOT low and slow! Teflon, made by DuPont, has been sued for hundreds of millions of dollars as the chemicals have been linked to birth defects. So what is safe and what should you buy?

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Image supplied by Cooks & Kitchens

 

1 – My favourite brand is salad master, made from surgical stainless and coming with a life time warranty, these pans are the Ferrari of the cookware world. needless to say the price tag reflects the quality! http://www.saladmaster.com

2 – My second favourite would be Xtrema it is completely Non Toxic. Xtrema Cookware is made from a special Patented Ceramic, derived from 100% inorganic natural minerals and water. Utilizing a revolutionary natural non scratch cooking surface called Nano-Glaze, Xtrema Cookware is non-reactive, meaning that no gasses, toxins or chemicals are ever produced during cooking. http://www.ceramcor.com

3 – You could also look into cast iron cookware such as Le Creuset which is free from teflon.

4 – Green Pan is a brand that very much looks and feels like conventional lightweight non stick pans but without the carcinogenic teflon coating!

5 – Next up we have natural earth ware, unglazed ceramic pots. you know the types of pots used to make Moroccan tagines.

6 – Finally for everyday roasting why not opt for glass Pyrex type dishes, they are economical and easy to source.